I'm kinda lucky here, because I had the opportunity to sling some questions with the lovely and razor-sharp Damona “Dear Mrs. D” Hoffman, a regular contributor over at the Huffington Post. She's an early adopter of the online dating scene and met her hubby in 2003 and has been helping other people snag their soul-mates ever since. Damona Hoffman has a new book titled: SPIN YOUR WEB: HOW TO BRAND YOURSELF FOR SUCCESSFUL ONLINE DATING. Which you should definitely check out.
So let's get to the meat and potatoes of this thing and jump right into the questions:
- the Urban Dater — There's a lot that's been written about dating, love, relationships and the like ( I know because we've done a lot of that ourselves ). What insights do you feel set your approach apart from the rest of the crowd?
Damona “Dear Mrs. D” Hoffman – There are two big factors that seem to separate my point-of-view. First, I’ve tried all of the techniques that I recommend to my readers and clients they helped me meet my husband on an online dating site. Not all dating experts can say that they’ve practiced what they preach and gotten the results that they were seeking – a loving, healthy relationship. Second, being a former casting director, in dating I use the same techniques I once taught actors about marketing themselves to stand out among other candidates who on the surface look and seem similar to you. But every dater, just like every actor, is unique. It’s important to capture what makes you special in your profile and the way you present yourself to be intriguing and memorable in a modern dating scene when we have so many things vying for our attention.
- the Urban Dater — Talk about your thoughts on branding oneself for success when out dating in the digital age. It sounds almost like you've taken an online marketer's approach to dating.
Damona “Dear Mrs. D” Hoffman –It’s really about personal branding. According to a recent NYU study, people take only 7 seconds to draw conclusions and make decisions about you. The same way that you scan through shirts when you’re clothes shopping online, people scan through pictures – very quickly! So your photo needs to telegraph your personality at a glance. When you take the emotion out of online dating and look at it from a more strategic point of view, it becomes more manageable and enjoyable.
- the Urban Dater — Also, from all that I've read on you and your approach to online dating, can you shed some light on your background?
Damona “Dear Mrs. D” Hoffman – When I was a casting director I taught classes for actors on auditioning and marketing techniques which few acting teachers focused on. You can be talented as heck but if you don’t know how, when, and where to present yourself, you don’t stand a chance. Online dating is the same thing – you are casting yourself in your own dream role so you have to think from the point of view of the director who’s making the selection first.
- the Urban Dater — Because I always wonder about this; how do you think daters ought to approach dates now that they can ‘Google' them easily and find out all the juicy stuff without even having to talk to them. Do you think that's good, bad? How do you think people should handle that?
Damona “Dear Mrs. D” Hoffman – ALWAYS Google your dates but NEVER tell them about it. With so many social networks and search tools you can find out a lot about what interests your date and get an edge over the competition. Just as research helps a candidate stand out in a job interview, it can help you connect with your partner. It’s also a good way to protect yourself from online dating fraud and make sure that the person you’re talking to is really who they say they are. What you don’t want to do is seem like a creepy stalker and spend hours finding out every detail about them than recite their life story on the date.
- the Urban Dater — What is the most common thing your clients come to you about?
Damona “Dear Mrs. D” Hoffman – People come to me when they are ready for a relationship. They’ve tried online dating, speed dating, and matchmaking and none if it has worked for them. You can go to the gym every day and exercise but if you’re not doing the moves correctly or giving maximum effort you won’t tone up. So in the gym, you get a trainer but in dating you hire a coach – Dear Mrs D!
- the Urban Dater — Where do you see online dating going? Is it going to be more social? More of the same with sites like Match and eHarmony paving the way?
Damona “Dear Mrs. D” Hoffman – We’re definitely headed in a more social direction. The ones to watch are the mobile dating apps that use your Facebook network and GPS features to give you better matches. With the large dating sites I think you will see more integration with social media and also more offline presence. I actually just formed a partnership with Match.com Stir Events to lead live workshops for their members to help get them better results online and build an offline community.
- the Urban Dater — Can you share with our readers some cool things you've got coming down the pipe for you?
Damona “Dear Mrs. D” Hoffman – The Match.com “Secret Sessions with Dear Mrs D” will be rolling out in May in the west coast market. It’s a great way for Match members to get a taste of what I do in my workshops and boot camps. I’ll be holding a dating boot camp this summer in LA and offering a bunch of helpful free videos and audio bonuses to my online subscribers on www.DearMrsD.com starting later this month! I also love taking live questions from listeners on my weekly radio show Dates & Mates with Dear Mrs D.
– The preceding was a sponsored post. You can read up on our disclosure statement here.